Monday, September 01, 2008


When I was a boy I talked to myself. Lots of adults who would catch me doing it would jokingly say, "That's OK, as long as you don't answer yourself." That comment always troubled me quite a bit, because I did have two way conversations all the time. As a boy, I had imaginary conversations with Mickey Mantle and Jack Parr, but I gave award acceptance speeches to large crowds, mostly, and all they did was applaud.

My fourth graders talk to themselves. Sometimes, during transitions in class from one subject to the next, I will hear at least eight kids diligently chattering. I'll watch the class carefully and see no one listening. Then I will ring my little bell for silence, everyone will quiet down, I'll inform the class that no one will be in trouble for talking, I'll ask the class who was talking, and not one single person will confess. I'll call students who were talking over to my desk, one by one, and quietly ask them who they were talking to, and each student will, without fail, question my question.

"I wasn't talking."

"I saw you talking. Who were you talking to?"

"I'm talking to myself. Does that count?"

I'm not a blogger; I'm a writer, and no one talks back. Is there anyone out there reading this? If you are, you don't have to blog a comment. I have come to grips with the fact that I still talk to myself. I talk to myself in my blogs, and as I look back on the gist of this blog site, it really says, over and over again, that I like kids, and I strive to look for the good and the funny and the quirky odd and the rewarding in the classroom, and in general, life itself.

As a child, I used to talk to myself. Like the students in my fourth grade classroom, I still do, but my talking to myself has morphed and hybridized itself into writing. If anyone is out there overhearing this, I hope you enjoy listening as much as I do talking. If no one is listening, it doesn't matter. I'm like the kids in my classroom. "I am talking to myself. Does that count?"

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